Lending Association

ASX closes 0.6% lower: Aus shares experience fifth consecutive day of losses

The Australian sharemarket experienced a fifth consecutive day of decline, primarily driven by a decrease in interest rate-sensitive real estate stocks. The S&P/ASX 200 index dropped by 0.6%, with notable losses in materials, energy, and real estate sectors. This decline followed a weaker performance on Wall Street due to reduced expectations of interest rate cuts, influenced by stronger US retail sales data and higher-than-expected UK inflation. Despite a weak December jobs report, the market’s sell-off was somewhat mitigated. Additionally, commodities like iron ore, brent crude, and gold saw fluctuations in response to economic signals from China’s Premier Li Qiang at Davos.

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 40 points.

The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 5.5 points.

The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 21.75 points.

The SPI futures are down 34 points.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Consumer Discretionary, up 0.3 per cent. The worst-performing sector was REITs, down 2.26 per cent.

The best-performing large cap was Infratil (ASX:IFT), closing 2.14 per cent higher at $9.56. It was followed by shares in Endeavour Group (ASX:EDV) and Altium (ASX:ALU).

The worst-performing large cap was IGO (ASX:IGO), closing 4.42 per cent lower at $7.13. It was followed by shares in Atlas Arteria (ASX:ALX) and Sonic Healthcare (ASX:SHL).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has lost -0.06 per cent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 0.48 per cent.

China’s Shanghai Composite has lost -1.65 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$2,009.30 an ounce.

Iron ore is 1.4 per cent lower at US$127.65 a tonne.

Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.5 per cent fall.

Light crude is trading $0.37 higher at US$72.93 a barrel.

One Australian dollar is buying 65.52 US cents.